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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Dec 28, 2009 10:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-6-73 Dark Star

In response to LIA and ghostofapig I didn't mean the sound or style of their music was reflective of the other free jazz artists I mentioned,but rather their sense of exploration and willingness to play new and different sounding types of music.I'm aware that they were impressed with Miles performance at the Fillmore,but I don't think it sonically informed their music.As far back as 68' they were playing Coltrane influenced music,Clementine seems to be infused with references to My Favorite Things,point being they were always a bit of a free jazz band and it didn't take a gig with Miles to push them in that direction.On that note I will be honest and say I really don't like Miles or his music,so any chance I get to rip him I do,therefore my opinions on him might be a little skewered.In closing Lia,picking a fight with you on musical matters concerning the Dead would be a foolish venture,I was responding more directly to other posts in this thread and past threads.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Dec 28, 2009 10:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-6-73 Dark Star

Ghostofapig,thanks for the mention of the George Lewis book,I wasn't aware of it and will search it out.I really like the work of a lot the AACM artists and would enjoy reading about the music and organization.I also agree with your point on the AEC,I think they did their best work in the 70's.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Dec 28, 2009 12:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The Dead = Jazz?

That's understandable, jerlouvis. I guess one point of my post was that even though many of us might not like Miles' music, the Dead certainly did - I thought it was interesting that Lesh said Miles' fusion music was similar to what the Dead were doing. But I'd agree that I don't hear much similarity, nor do I think their music was influenced by his 'fusion' phase too much, at least in ways that I can hear, unless it's in the 'free' playing style. (By '73, with Keith in the mix, there is a bit more sonic resemblance.)
Miles' earlier period with Coltrane did rub off on them - Coltrane was indisputably a huge influence on them way back in '66.

The question of whether the Dead ever played "jazz" can be debated - just the fact they're playing with guitars instead of horns makes a huge difference - not only that, but their style is so unique from other bands anyway. To me, the connection is clear - even from early '68, the whole idea of medleys of jammed songs linked together, many of them directly quoting jazz (Clementine, Spanish Jam, New Potato in a way), using 'feedback' and 'space' as musical concepts, composing several improvised jam-songs that go on long wordless musical journeys... '73/74 are thought of as the jazziest years because of these big jams where the Dead skitter around from one theme to another, dropping into noisy spaces or funk-jams or unknown spontaneous melodies at the drop of a hat - there's not much like that in rock music.
And then there's the September '73 tour where the Dead directly embraced jazz by adding a couple horn-players for the jams. (That's not even to mention what Garcia was playing in his shows with Saunders & Fierro.) But they do keep it within a 'rock' context - the jams are always kept within a limited space, and always return back to familiar ground.
So, it's not quite jazz, not quite rock, but like some of Miles' fusion albums, somewhere on the border. I think we can call the Dead a 'jazz' band to the same extent we can call them a 'country' or R&B band, it's all part of the mix.... That unique way they play is what's so compelling, regardless of what influences went into it.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Dec 28, 2009 1:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead = Jazz?

That was my point in a round about way LIA,that this group of innovative musicians was creating a complex new sort of music that wasn't easily labeled this or that,and to compare it Miles music simply because he was playing jazz with electric instruments with a rock element was a disservice to the integrity and quality of the Dead's music.What they were doing was far more inventive and they were doing live not in the studio.I know that jazz is generally thought of as being horn based,but the absence of horns doesn't negate something from being jazz,such as piano driven jazz with no horns is no less jazz.So I believe that some of the music the Dead played was genuine free jazz,Jerry and Bob were playing some true jazz licks as were Billy and Keith.I think jazz musicians would be well served to listen to and incorporate some of the Dead's jazz stylings.

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Poster: fireeagle Date: Dec 28, 2009 3:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 12-6-73 Dark Star

free improvisation doesnt mean it has 2 be jazz. i never considered dead music as being jazzy. dark star was always my fav dead tune, but it is a spacey free form thing, experimental, but definitely rock based. a thing that sonically goes places where no free jazz has ever gone

it can only be compared with early 70s krautrock (ash ra tempel, amon duul II) or early floyd live sound


i never liked miles either

This post was modified by fireeagle on 2009-12-28 23:03:46

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